Oracle unveils Oracle Soar, a comprehensive cloud migration offering

As part of Oracle's efforts to provide more automation, it's offering customers a package of automated migration tools bundled with consulting services.

Oracle on Tuesday unveiled a new package of tools and services called Oracle Soar, designed to help customers migrate applications to the cloud.

Oracle Soar combines a set of automated migration tools with professional services, all provided by Oracle -- a complete, in-house solution for migration. The semi-automated solution fits in with Oracle's recent efforts to stand apart from other cloud providers with more automated services.

The company says that by using Oracle Soar, rather than a more piecemeal approach to migration, customers can see cost savings of up to 30 percent. It also says it can save customers up to 30 percent in time, with the simplest migrations taking as little as 20 weeks.

Oracle Soar includes a discovery assessment, process analyzer, automated data and configuration migration utilities and rapid integration tools. It also includes a dedicated Oracle concierge service to help business customers ensure their migration aligns with best practices. Customers can receive online training on their new technology via Oracle University, and they'll have the support of a customer success manager for a full year post-migration to help ensure new technologies are adopted smoothly. Customers can monitor the status of their migration via a mobile application.

"We lead the effort, and we coordinate the whole flight plan as you move forward," Beth Boettcher, Oracle's SVP of North American Applications Consulting, told ZDNet.

With Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure leading the pack of major cloud providers, Oracle is seeking to differentiate itself with data-as-a-service and autonomous features. In October 2017, Oracle introduced the automated Oracle Database 18c. Then earlier this year, Oracle announced the expansion of autonomous capabilities across its platform-as-a-service offerings -- to data management, application development, integration, analytics, security and systems management.

While Oracle is framing Oracle Soar as part of that effort, it's not an entirely automated offering, given the consulting services included. Over time, Boettcher said, as products are tuned with subsequent releases, it will move toward autonomous delivery.

For the time being, the consulting services help customers with some of the bigger challenges of migration efforts, such as moving apps simply not designed for the cloud.

"We know many of our customers have taken their on-premise technology and have really customized it," Boettcher said. "What our consulting team will do is say, 'How do we unwind that complexity and teach you to take advantage of the out-of-the-box industry best practices built into our cloud technology?'"

Other cloud providers have comparable migration tools. Amazon Web Services, for instance, has the AWS Migration Hub, which is a repository of various migration tools. Boettcher, however, contended Oracle Soar offers a more comprehensive solution with the inclusion of consulting and educational services.

Meanwhile, Workday has the Lifecycle Deployment Program to assist customers, but that doesn't include tools like an integration accelerator or migration accelerator.

"This is absolutely unique compared to what any competition is doing in the marketplace," Boettcher said.

Oracle Soar is available now for Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle PeopleSoft and Oracle Hyperion Planning customers who are moving to Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle SCM Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud.

Oracle will eventually extend the Soar offering to Oracle PeopleSoft and Oracle E-Business Suite customers moving to Oracle HCM Cloud, as well as Oracle Siebel customers moving to Oracle CX Cloud.

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